Hi, folks! Sorry I wasn’t able to post on Friday, I was a little busy getting ready for my husband’s birthday dinner on Saturday. We had a small gathering, just my sister and her family, but it was nice to cook for “a lot of people” again! We has a frozen turkey from last Christmas, which would be more than enough for six people, so all I needed were a few easy side dishes and a dessert.

This is the first time I made a Thanksgiving dinner in July, and I gotta say I really enjoy cooking holiday meals! Even though the day was hot and running the oven and stove made it even hotter, the wonderful aromas that filled the kitchen made up for the heat of the afternoon sun. I already had dessert waiting in the fridge, the turkey was roasting nicely in the oven, green beans done, cranberries done, sweet potato casserole prepped and ready for the oven, and the stuffing is super fast to make (I really do love the box mixes.) The one thing left to make is the most time consuming and, next to the turkey, the most essential: giblet gravy.

The recipe is from an old issue of Cook’s Illustrated magazine, first introduced to me by my Uncle Jimmy, who also loves to cook. It is my favorite gravy recipe and requires a lot of hands-on time–probably more than any other dish you’ll prepare for a Thanksgiving spread–but it is worth every step.

I love this magazine for the wonderful illustrations just as much as the recipes, product reviews and readers’ tips.

Since the giblets sink to the bottom, using a mini-cauldron (or bowl) and ladel is better than pouring from a gravy boat.

Giblet Pan Gravy – from Cook’s Illustrated magazine
makes about 2 quarts

1 tablespoon oil
reserved turkey neck, heart and gizzard (and liver, if you like)
1 onion, unpeeled and chopped medium
6 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
2 sprigs fresh thyme
8 parsley stems
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
salt and pepper

1. Heat oi in large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add turkey neck, heart and gizzard (and liver, if you’re using) and cook until browned, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onion and cook until softened, 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until juices are released, about 20 minutes. Add broth, water, and herbs. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, skimming any scum that rises to the surface, about 30 minutes. Strain broth (you should have about 8 cups–I ended up with 6!) reserving heart and gizzard (you can use the neck for soup or pick off the meat and use in stuffing.) When cooled, finely chop heart, gizzard, and liver and set aside.

2. Heat butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. When foam subsides whisk in flour. Cook, stirring occasionally, until nutty brown and fragrant, 10 minutes. Gradually and vigorously whisk in broth and wine. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and flavorful, about 30 minutes. Set aside until turkey is done.

3. While turkey is resting on carving board, spoon out and discard as much fat as possible from roasting pan, then strain drippings into saucepan with gravy, pressing on solids in strainer to extract as much liquid as possible. Stir in reserved giblets, and simmer until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste, serve with turkey.

This recipe is also my contribution to Cookbook Sundays, sponsored by Couscous & Consciousness.


Here’s some pictures from our Birthday Thanksgiving in July dinner:

What are some of your favorite holiday meals to enjoy any time of year? Pumpkin pie? Colored eggs? Pepernoten? Ozoni?